If there's anything I've learned in the 6 months (Note: Now 7, this post was written a week or so ago in a state of sleep deprivation) I've had a baby, it's that motherhood really sucks, and that babies are assholes. Let me add though, that I wouldn't change being a mother for the world; but if anyone tells you they don't find motherhood a challenge at all, they either have a full-time nanny for their child, or they are straight up lying to make you feel bad. These people are the worst, and need to be beaten with a stick.

The last couple of weeks have been brutal. Megatron is teething, and she's learning a few new things so she's been extra fussy. It doesn't help that she's also starting to realise that if she cries (not fussing, full on crying), we will turn up. Yes, I know that you can let them cry it out, but that just doesn't fly during this stage, and with separation anxiety setting in, I'm all for making sure her need for social contact is met. As a general rule of thumb, if the baby cries, one of five things would be wrong:
  • Hunger
  • Wet/poop-filled diaper
  • Too hot/cold
  • In pain/discomfort
  • Lonely
If you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, until your baby starts to grasp the concept that you're going to put them to work and live off them, you only need to worry about the bottom three tiers.


[Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs]

So, in the last two weeks, I've had a baby who's getting increasingly more aware of things, who sits in her crib and stares at the door as she cries, waiting for me to turn up, and who gives me the biggest smile ever when I do to emotionally blackmail me to stay. And it's exhausting. There are no words to describe how exhausting it is. The last few days have really taken their toll because she's gone from 2-3 hour naps to naps lasting no longer than an hour. There was even a day where there was just one 45-minute nap between 8am and 9:30pm. Waterboarding? Please, you have nothing on my child! 

None of this would be that bad if there wasn't always something that needed to be done around the house, or there was even someone around all day so we could take turns catering to an incoherent babbler who sounds like a velociraptor. It just gets to you after a while. Needing time away from the baby is truly nothing to feel guilty about, and most of the time Pinata is great about watching her in the evening like just going for a coffee. But some days, it's not enough, and it's just all too much because you are dead on your feet, and you know that in that one hour that the baby will be asleep, you have 500,000 things to do, none of which will get done to completion between her actually falling asleep and needing something from you again. 


There will always be another dish, another load of laundry, another surface that needs to be wiped, or another batch of stuff you just haven't had time to put away; but motherhood has taught me that babies and plans are mutually exclusive concepts. If you want an immaculate house, and everything in order at all times, just don't have a child.

With a baby, you're always rushing from one thing to the next, and I imagine it will only get worse when she becomes mobile. There is always a list as long as my arm for the day, and so I need a couple of hours between the madness of raising a child to get it all done. So when the schedule goes tits up because there's a growth spurt ongoing, or a tooth is busting out of her gums, it's so incredibly frustrating. It truly is a testament to the fact that the moment you think you have them on a schedule, they switch things up a bit to keep you on your toes. Even in this near constant need to be held and attended to, you still need to find a way to keep the house functional.


Pinata constantly tells me that Megatron is my therapist because she's fixing my OCD. You can be on your feet from 7am to 12 midnight, and with a baby around you won't even get half your chores done. This means that I'm learning to live with a bit of a mess, or that sink of undone dishes. I'm learning that what matters most is that the little human is taken care of. Gone are the days when I would banish Pinata to his room with one specific glass that doesn't belong to a set, so that the entire set of 8 drinking glasses remain washed and in the kitchen while I sleep. How I long for the days when such things were my biggest problem!

For now, all I can do is try to live in the moment. I'm trying to enjoy just spending time with the little munchkin without worrying too much about all the stuff that's waiting to get done. It pays off too. I'm less grumpy, and she is less grumpy. It's a quid pro quo. Babies seem to be able to sense when you're in two places at once, and they employ every weapon in their arsenal to keep you with them. Why fight it? What's so bad about enjoying your baby?

Nothing will ever get done. Right now, as I sit here and look around me. Every surface is littered with something or other that belongs elsewhere. And do you know what? It can all wait until tomorrow because it's midnight and I've finally put the baby down, and done the dishes. This is me-time, and that matters just as much as making sure there are clean bottles for her next feed in the morning.

At no other time have I realised how important those solitary moments are. I truly have learned to appreciate them, and that's an invaluable lesson in itself.

2 comments:

  1. Pinata has great insight haha
    And I hear ya. My house is a mess too.

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